The story of LOGOS64
By Miles Dyck
The C64 was my childhood computer, but it was not the computer I learned to code with. I was seven years old when my father bought a C64 for me and my older siblings and we used it mostly for games and some rudimentary word processing. It wasn’t until I was in high school, around the same time the family C64 was retired, that I learned to code in BASIC on an Apple IIe and then PASCAL on a PC. At university I specialized in the natural sciences and didn’t do any more coding until graduate school when I had to dust off my PASCAL skills for a numerical methods course and to write some custom programs for data analysis.
I rediscovered the C64 during the COVID lockdowns in 2021. The nostalgia for the old games and simpler times hit me hard. Playing the old games on a real C64 was so much fun and brought back a lot of memories. Some of those memories were about how intimidated I was by computer code before I took those courses in high school. One of friends also had a C64 and he could make amazing programs. He showed me assembly language one time and it completely baffled me. Finally, well into my 40s, I saw coding in BASIC on the C64 as an opportunity to develop my programing skills to make something fun and be creative.
But where to start?
Gaming was where it all started for me. I wanted to make an arcade-style game, but my BASIC skills were very rusty. The BASIC I had learned way back in high school didn’t include graphics or sound. So, as a way to get my feet wet with BASIC again, I decided to code a game that didn’t require graphics or sound. I had been playing Wordle (click here to visit the website) every morning for a while and one day it hit me that a Wordle clone was the way to get back to BASIC on the C64. Thus, LOGOS64 was conceived.
At this point, I had heard of Vision BASIC, but I wanted to first learn BASIC V2. I started by reading the C64 User’s Guide and Programming Reference Guide then started coding logos on a real C64. My first solution to the “Wordle problem” was inefficient and clumsy. Funny enough, it was a three-week period when I had COVID myself that I was able to get the first version working and posted it on GitHub (click here).
The next major step was the conversion to Vision BASIC. With Dennis’ help with the code for the search procedure and loading the master word list directly to memory, the latest version of the game is much faster and playable (download here). The next development steps will the adding some music and simple graphics. Eventually, I will get on to developing an arcade-style game with Vision BASIC.
Editor Note: Marcio D. has written an excellent review of this game that you can read on the VisionBASIC.FUN website. Click HERE to check it out!